Games Haven Monthly $1K Series 2018

18th Mar 2018

Games Haven Paya Lebar

Matthew (Lightning Bolt) Yee

Bloodbraid Elf and Jace, the Mind Sculptor have been unbanned, and Modern weekends everywhere have only been too happy to provide the stress test to see if that decision was a mistake. Our 38-player metagame on Sunday seemed to follow the experimental results that first emerged on MTG Online, then at other Modern events, and then at GP Phoenix last weekend, that while the two bogeymen are indeed strong cards, diversity is still protected in Modern. Time will tell if one or both of them rise to police the format much like they did in Standards past, but for now at least, Modern seems safe.

Naturally, the best place to start from would be what BBE and JTMS decks showed up on Sunday that could not show up on our February $1K event. Bloodbraid Elf appeared in Jund, their natural home, seeking to up their threat density to even greater heights and propel the deck past the need to play Abzan and Lingering Souls. We also had RG Eldrazi show up, a deck that has received new life from Bloodbraid Elf just off pure cascade value alone.

The deck showed up at the Top 8 of GP Phoenix as well, showing that at the very least, the deck is worth exploring. Jace, on the other hand, appeared in Bant Knightfall just as recommended by our very own Platinum Pro, again for pure value and occasional synergistic value with cards like Meddling Mage and Spell Queller. Jace also appeared in UW Control, a theoretical match made in heaven that seeks to bring a small part of Legacy into Modern.

In that deck, Jace helps to grind out value much like he did in the Cawblade deck of old, but instead of returning Squadron Hawks to the deck he instead sets up Terminuses on demand. One might argue that without Sensei’s Divining Top, the application of it is not as smooth as it was before the Top got banned in Legacy, but Opt (another newcomer to Modern) does a pretty good imitation of making an instant-speed 2-mana boardwipe. Special mention goes to the brave soul who brought the Temur Unbanned deck, which basically runs off pure value and weds both Bloodbraid and Jace in unholy matrimony.

It would be remiss not to address the elephant in the room. Yes, the highest-represented deck was Burn. Putting aside the deck’s ability to pilot itself, it is a good metagame choice for a developing metagame where decks are attempting to see how greedy they can be with Bloodbraid and Jace. Burn’s ability to punish greedy decks that stumble is top-notch, so it is truly unsurprising that about one-third of the field was Burn.

Other appearances attempting to combat the inherent greediness of Bloodbraid and Jace decks were big mana decks, primarily Tron and Titan-based builds. Unlike the Burn decks, which to quote a certain Level 2 judge “All burn player same cards one”, the big mana decks were extremely varied in makeup. Tron decks differed in splash colour of choice, while the Titan decks had vastly different supporting gameplans (Scapeshift, straightforward ramp, not-so-straightforward ramp with Azusa and Amulet of Vigor). All in all, the strategies to combat Bloodbraid and Jace in this way seem to have paid off, because they made up half our Top 8.

Of course, we stated in the beginning of the writeup that Modern’s diversity remained intact, and the proof is in the decklists. Both inside and outside of the Top 8, diversity was definitely maintained, and created a lot of fun matchups on Sunday. We had Dredge, RG Ponza, YOLO One, Merfolk, Lantern Control, Jeskai Restore Balance, Grishoalbrand, Death’s Shadow and Tezzerator. We’ve probably missed out some more, but that in itself is a testimony to the sheer number of available choices in Modern at the moment. Bloodbraid and Jace aren’t near to destroying the format at the moment. Ask again in a few months.

Before we get to the Top 8 decklists, we need the Moment of the Day, and here is the transcript in all its glory:
 

Context – Lantern Control versus Jund, Lantern has 2 Ensnaring Bridges, no hand and almost all other lock pieces, having been forced to use his only Lantern to shuffle away a Maelstrom Pulse.
 

Jund: YES LAH ZHA YOUR LEYLINE! CAN TARGET YOU LIAO!
 

Spectators: ULTI! ULTI! ULTI!
 

Jund: LILI ULTI!
 

Lantern: Hmm…… *looks over battlefield* Ok lor.
 

Jund grabs every single non-Ensnaring-Bridge permanent and sweeps them away with a GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

Top 8 Decklists

Naya Burn piloted by Daniel Roses


1st Place


Main Deck

4x Arid Mesa
4x Bloodstained Mire
3x Wooded Foothills
2x Sacred Foundry
1x Copperline Gorge
3x Mountain
2x Stomping Ground

4x Wild Nacatl
4x Monastery Swiftspear
4x Eidolon of the Great Revel
4x Goblin Guide
1x Grim Lavamancer

4x Boros Charm
4x Atarka’s Command
3x Rift Bolt
3x Searing Blaze
4x Lava Spike
4x Lightning Bolt
2x Skullcrack

Sideboard


2x Lightning Helix
2x Path to Exile
2x Kor Firewalker
2x Deflecting Palm
1x Exquisite Firecraft
4x Destructive Revelry
2x Kataki, War’s Wage

RG Titanshift piloted by Brandon Lim


2nd Place


Main Deck

4x Stomping Ground
4x Wooded Foothills
3x Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
3x Cinder Glade
3x Windswept Heath
3x Forest
7x Mountain

4x Sakura-Tribe Elder
4x Primeval Titan
1x Reclamation Sage

4x Farseek
4x Search for Tomorrow
4x Scapeshift
2x Hour of Promise
2x Sweltering Suns
2x Summoner’s Pact
1x Explore

2x Khalni Heart Expedition
2x Prismatic Omen

1x Relic of Progenitus

Sideboard


2x Relic of Progenitus
2x Tireless Tracker
1x Thrun, the Last Troll
2x Anger of the Gods
2x Nature’s Claim
3x Obstinate Baloth
2x Beast Within
1x Back to Nature

BG Tron piloted by David Lim


Top  4


Main Deck

4x Urza’s Tower
4x Urza’s Power Plant
4x Urza’s Mine
3x Llanowar Wastes
1x Blooming Marsh
1x Ugin’s Sanctum
1x Forest
1x Swamp

3x Wurmcoil Engine
1x World Breaker
1x Walking Ballista
1x Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
1x Emrakul, the Promised End

4x Karn Liberated
2x Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

4x Chromatic Sphere
4x Chromatic Star
4x Expedition Map
3x Oblivion Stone
2x Relic of Progenitus

4x Ancient Stirrings
4x Sylvan Scrying
3x Fatal Push

Sideboard


4x Collective Brutality
3x Thoughtseize
2x Nature’s Claim
1x Seal of Primordium
3x Thragtusk
2x Warping Wail

RG Eldrazi piloted by Reeve Chia


Top 4


Main Deck

1x Mountain
1x Forest
1x Stomping Ground
2x Wooded Foothills
4x Grove of the Burnwillows
1x Kessig Wolf Run
4x Eldrazi Temple
4x Cavern of Souls
1x Karplusan Forest
2x Yavimaya Coast
1x Fire-Lit Thicket

1x Birds of Paradise
4x Noble Hierarch
2x Scavenging Ooze
4x Eldrazi Obligator
4x Matter Reshaper
4x Bloodbraid Elf
4x Thought-Knot Seer
4x Reality Smasher

4x Ancient Stirrings
4x Lightning Bolt
2x Dismember

1x Mind Stone

Sideboard


2x Chalice of the Void
2x Engineered Explosives
2x Natural State
2x Relic of Progenitus
2x Grafdigger’s Cage
2x Ancient Grudge
1x Kozilek’s Return
2x Crumble to Dust

Dredge piloted by Wu Yi Kai


Top 8


Main Deck

4x Copperline Gorge
4x Wooded Foothills
1x Blackcleave Cliffs
1x Bloodstained Mire
1x Arid Mesa
2x Mountain
2x Gemstone Mine
2x Dakmor Salvage
2x Stomping Ground
1x Blood Crypt

4x Narcomoeba
4x Bloodghast
4x Prized Amalgam
4x Insolent Neonate
4x Stinkweed Imp
3x Golgari Thug
1x Haunted Dead

4x Faithless Looting
4x Cathartic Reunion
4x Life from the Loam
3x Conflagrate
1x Darkblast

Sideboard


2x Lightning Axe
3x Thoughtseize
1x Driven//Despair
2x Abrupt Decay
2x Ancient Grudge
1x Gnaw to the Bone
2x Collective Brutality
2x Ravenous Trap

RG Ponza piloted by Trevor Teng


Top 8


Main Deck

4x Wooded Foothills
4x Windswept Heath
1x Verdant Catacombs
1x Misty Rainforest
8x Forest
1x Mountain
3x Stomping Ground

4x Arbor Elf
2x Birds of Paradise
4x Tireless Tracker
2x Courser of Kruphix
4x Bloodbraid Elf
2x Pia and Kiran Nalaar
1x Hazoret the Fervent
1x Inferno Titan

2x Abrade
4x Stone Rain
2x Primal Command

4x Utopia Sprawl
4x Blood Moon

2x Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Sideboard


2x Relic of Progenitus
2x Scavenging Ooze
2x Anger of the Gods
3x Trinisphere
2x Obstinate Baloth
2x Shatterstorm
1x Fracturing Gust
1x Wurmcoil Engine

Blue Tron piloted by Joshua Yang


Top 8


Main Deck

4x Urza’s Tower
4x Urza’s Power Plant
4x Urza’s Mine
1x Academy Ruins
1x Field of Ruin
1x Oboro, Palace in the Clouds
1x Tolaria West
7x Island

2x Snapcaster Mage
1x Trinket Mage
1x Treasure Mage
2x Wurmcoil Engine
1x Platinum Angel
1x Sundering Titan
1x Walking Ballista

4x Repeal
4x Remand
4x Thirst for Knowledge
4x Condescend
1x Cyclonic Rift

4x Expedition Map
2x Talisman of Dominance
2x Chalice of the Void
1x Mindslaver
1x Oblivion Stone

1x Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

Sideboard


1x Thought-Knot Seer
1x Mindslaver
2x Surgical Extraction
1x Negate
3x Spatial Contortion
2x Dismember
1x Grafdigger’s Cage
1x Engineered Explosives
2x Spreading Seas
1x Solemn Simulacrum

Naya Burn piloted by Ian Teoh


Top 8


Main Deck

3x Arid Mesa
4x Bloodstained Mire
4x Wooded Foothills
3x Sacred Foundry
2x Inspiring Vantage
2x Mountain
1x Stomping Ground

4x Goblin Guide
4x Monastery Swiftspear
2x Grim Lavamancer
4x Eidolon of the Great Revel

4x Lightning Bolt
4x Rift Bolt
4x Lava Spike
4x Searing Blaze
4x Boros Charm
3x Lightning Helix
4x Skullcrack

Sideboard


4x Destructive Revelry
3x Molten Rain
2x Kor Firewalker
2x Chained to the Rocks
1x Searing Blood
1x Relic of Progenitus
1x Grafdigger’s Cage
1x Path to Exile